When Fred Ryan, Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff from 1989 to 1995, first toured the soon-to-be-former-president’s future office suite on the 34th floor of Fox Plaza, the floors were littered with bullet shells and broken glass.
The space was being used for the filming of 1988’s Die Hard, and when production wrapped, Reagan could have the only remaining space in the just-completed tower. When Ryan inquired about the building — Reagan was breaking tradition by choosing private office space over a federal building — he was told the building was full. But when word got back to 20th Century Fox owner and Reagan pal Marvin Davis, space miraculously became available. When Ryan informed the Secret Service of the choice, an agent deadpanned, “Great, you just picked a building where there’s been a movie made about how terrorists can blow it up.”
From the random celebrities partying with presidents file:
President Reagan and Nancy Reagan attending “All Star Tribute to Dutch Reagan” at NBC Studios (from left to right sitting) Colleen Reagan, Neil Reagan, Maureen Reagan, President, Nancy Reagan, Dennis Revell. (From left to right standing) Emmanuel Lewis, Charlton Heston, Ben Vereen, Monty Hall, Frank Sinatra, Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin, EydieGorme, Vin Scully, Steve Lawrence, last 2 unidentified. Burbank , California 12/1/85.
While the Reagan family is surely relieved, this development must come as a great disappointment for the auction’s high bidder, who had offered a whopping $30,086 for the presidential blood. Sources tell Daily Intel that he was a mad scientist who intended to extract DNA from the blood and grow an entire colony of Reagans on a remote tropical island. Visitors would have the opportunity to see the Reagans up close from behind an electrified wall, which the mad scientist claimed would be “un-tear-downable,” because, you know.
Of the first frame he made of the President, Edmonds recalled: “Just as I got ready to press the shutter down and take the picture, he waved, [and] the first shot rang out. I didn’t know they were shots initially — they sounded like firecrackers. I saw him grimace, and that’s when I pushed the shutter down, and I held it down.”
Today is the anniversary of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. Learn more about Ron Edmonds’ Pulitzer-winning photos of the event here.